New Zealand’s largest rural insurer FMG has lodged some 2000 claims following Cyclone Gabrielle and is doing everything it can to support impacted clients.

That claims number is expected to rise over the coming days and weeks as people get more of a chance to check damage around their property – and communication lines begin to open up.

“We appreciate clients will be at different stages of assessing damage, so one of our main focuses right now is getting in touch with impacted clients to see how they are and to support them with any advice they may need on making a claim” says Karen Williams, FMG’s Rural Propositions Manager.

“With communication avenues sketchy in some parts, we’re using a broad range of channels to try and get through. We’ve emailed and text some six thousand clients across the East Coast region and have also emailed some 20,000 in the wider Northland region.

“To support this, we’re also getting on the phone and running an outbound calling programme – focusing on the East Coast region to begin with.”

“This has been in support of using wider media channels including radio, print and online – channels we’ll continue to use.”

“We’ve also been able to get our Assessing Team into some regions. This is still difficult given the state of some roads and we’re prioritising the worst impacted clients first, for example those who have lost their homes.

“The size and scale of this event is significant and while we’re out there and reaching some clients, we need to emphasise that getting to all clients who need an assessor will take time.

“To help clients who need to make a claim, or who need advice on what they can do around their property, we’ve included the following advice:

There are two ways clients can lodge a claim:

  • If you claim is urgent call us on 0800 366 466. Please note we’re experiencing high call volumes, but we will get to you – we appreciate your patience
  • If your claim is not urgent, you can lodge online through FMG Connect,
  • You don’t need to have all the details of your claim. The earlier you can contact us, the quicker we can begin looking at your claim.

Things you can do right now:

  • Take as many photos as you can of all the damage around your property. The more photos the better, as this will support your claim
  • You can carry out emergency repairs and dispose of flooded property, but please take photos of these items before you throw them out
  • If you need temporary accommodation, then please call us to see if we can help
  • If you’re beginning to contract work in to support repairs, then please keep a record of contracted hours and any receipts.
  • You can remove damaged GIB to just above the water line. Again, make sure you take plenty of photos beforehand.

“We appreciate things are difficult right now. Please know that when you’re ready and able to get in touch, we’re here and ready to help with your claim,” says Karen Williams.